Employee Spotlight: Alyissa Gallagher

Last Updated by Gerard Longo on

For this month's PBS39 Employee Spotlight, we sat down with Alyissa Gallagher, Educational Outreach, who excitedly shared the many happenings within PBS39's education department.

Let’s start from the beginning: How and when did you come to PBS39?
I started at PBS39 in 2008, after my first child was born. I had worked at an elementary school for many years prior, and I came here for the perfect work/life balance PBS39 offers!

What do you enjoy most about working at PBS39?
I love the people I get to be around every day! In the Education & Outreach department we are all after the same goal of bringing quality educational media and programs to young children and their families.

Why do you think it is important to support the mission of public media?
Public media is important to everyone! Many of us have grown up watching public media as I have, and I’m proud to pass that along to my own children.  

Describe your day-to-day role at PBS39 and why it’s important to the station.
As part of the Education & Outreach department at PBS39, I work closely with our local school districts, teachers and students to provide a variety of services for the education community. These include in-school and after- school programs, educational television programing, parent resources, adult learning opportunities, and many other fun and informative events!

Tell us about the Full STEAM Ahead! educational initiative and its significance to PBS39’s mission.
With the Full STEAM Ahead! educational initiative, we are helping to educate and engage both children and adults on STEAM topics (science, technology, engineering, art and math). PBS39 offers our school partners, parents, and students exciting opportunities to learn about and become engaged in a variety of STEAM activities and educational programs. 

Included in Full STEAM Ahead! are contests like “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?”, Artist of the Month and Empowering Educators. Briefly describe those contests, and what role they play in engaging students of all ages. 
In our “What’s so Cool About Manufacturing?” contest, we partner with the Manufactures Resource Center in Allentown to offer a video contest designed to educate and involve local students in our vast manufacturing industry in the Lehigh Valley. This is to raise awareness for manufacturing careers. 

Artist of the Month offers students in grades K-12 the opportunity to submit their artwork to us. Recently, twelve winners were chosen for 2016, and one will be featured on PBS39 throughout the year!

Empowering Educators invited local educators to make a difference in their communities by leading students in a public service.  Each team identified a STEM-related need in their community and implemented a project that will have a positive impact on this need.

PBS39 leads the way in educational programming. In addition to our PBS KIDS lineup, our high school academic quiz show, Scholastic Scrimmage, is in its 42nd season. Give us an overview of the show, including anything new for the current season.
Scholastic Scrimmage is going strong in its 42nd season! We challenge the best and brightest students from around our local area to “outsmart” the opposite team in a tournament that spans the academic year. At the end of each season, the last team standing is awarded $4,000 for its scholarship fund, while the runner-up receives $2,000.

I’m especially proud of the changes we’ve brought to this new season, including video questions on each episode and a brand new set!  

We also provide off-air educational opportunities for high school students, including summer camps like our Media Career Academy and Production U. What can you tell us about those?
Summer camps are awesome at PBS39. During our Media Career Academy this past June, high school students explored different careers in the world of media. After this week-long camp, students left with a detailed career plan and a video resume.

About a month later, we held our incredibly popular Production U summer camp. Our Emmy Award-winning production team gives students in grades 9-12 a chance to learn how to write, shoot, edit and be on-camera talent every year. In the end, students create their own teen-oriented newscast and leave with a DVD of their finished projects.  

Overall, what role would you like to see PBS39 play in the education community going forward?
My hope is that students, parents, educators and young children can all utilize PBS39 for educational resources and have fun while interacting with us! We know there are many choices out there for everyone, and we are so pleased when you choose PBS39 as your partner in education. We are looking forward to offering new and innovative resources to the community.

Check out our previous monthly Employee Spotlights!
October: Brandon Long, Membership Coordinator
September: Brittany Garzillo, Reporter/Producer
August: Jim Karcher, Master Control Operator
July: Kim Vogel, Finance
May: Jessie Heimann, Marketing Director

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